Hong Kong officials raid piracy warehouse

MUMBAI: On 15 April, an intelligence-led investigation culminated in 30 officers from the Hong Kong Customs Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau raiding a warehouse that had been supplying pirated optical discs to Hong Kong’s pirate retailers.

Hong Kong Customs estimated that the seizures created a revenue loss of HK$5,000,000 ($641,026) to the pirates.

Officials seized 200,000 pirated optical discs, 15,000 DVDs of which infringed 25 MPA member company TV series titles including Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Nip Tuck, The O.C., Prison Break and Supernatural. Other seizures infringed Japanese cartoon and TV series titles, non-MPA TV series titles, Hong Kong movie titles as well as Korean movie and TV series titles.

A man and three women, aged between 24 and 32, were arresting during the operation. Staff from the International Federation Against Copyright Theft – Greater China (IFACT-GC) representing the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in Hong Kong supported Customs officers during the raid and assisted in identifying pirated optical discs.

"Hong Kong Customs have hit this piracy syndicate with a hammer blow: four members face prison time, and in addition to losing potential revenue, they have also lost a lot of real money paid out for the pirated discs which were seized," said IFACT-GC executive director and general manager Sam Ho. "The range of stolen copyright content shows pirates do not specialize in stealing the intellectual property of any one country’s movie industry and reinforces the importance of copyright owners working together to take down copyright thieves."

"The zero tolerance position taken by Hong Kong Customs makes it very hard for pirate syndicates to operate" said MPA president and managing director, Asia-Pacific Mike Ellis. "We commend them for their unceasing efforts in putting pirates out of business."